More than 16,000 expected to take classes at UC Berkeley this summer

Summer school at the University of California, Berkeley, starts today (Monday, May 21). Once again, enrollment is projected to exceed 16,000, making it another record-breaking season for the campus’s increasingly popular program.

As of mid-May, more than 14,000 UC Berkeley and other students, including international scholars, had signed up for UC Berkeley Summer Sessions. At least 2,000 more students are expected to enroll through July 23, when the last three-week session begins. At least 1,200 enrollments are anticipated for Summer Sessions’ nine online courses.

“It looks like we may have another record-breaking year,” said Richard Russo, dean of Berkeley Summer Sessions, Berkeley Study Abroad and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

UC Berkeley Summer Sessions offers more than 600 courses during five sessions that range in length from three to 10 weeks and end in mid-August. In addition to courses, students can sign up for international study abroad, global internships, early-start programs for new admits, and a pre-collegiate program for high school students. Enrollment began in February.

UC undergraduate students pay $406 per unit during Summer Sessions. Financial aid and Pell Grants are available to eligible students. For more information, visit the UC Berkeley Summer Sessions website.

Among the incentives for students to enroll in Summer Sessions is the relative affordability of summer courses, as all students – including international and other out-of-state students – pay resident tuition. Typically, a UC student taking two courses this summer will pay between $2,600 and $3,400 in tuition. As for students visiting from overseas for a six-week summer session, the cost of tuition, fees and housing amounts to around $6,000, Russo said.

Another big draw in the summer are the intensive language courses offered at UC Berkeley, including English as a Second Language, which is usually taught in the July-August session. Other courses offered this summer reflect a wide variety of disciplines from more than 80 academic departments.

Topical or intriguing courses being taught include “Ethnic Voices in the Digital Age,” Comic Book Nation,” American Horrors: Monsters in U.S. Cinema,” “Zero-Energy Building,” “The Bollywood Terrorist,” “The Beauty and Joy of Computing,” “Women and Disability in Film and Stories,” “The World Turned Upside Down: Berkeley in the Sixties” and “Endangered Languages.”

With the high number of visiting summer school students, housing is always in high demand, filling campus residence halls as well as beds at the Downtown Berkeley YMCA.

UC Berkeley first offered summer study in 1900, with 37 courses and 433 students. Faculty typically makes up 10 percent of Summer Sessions instructors, with lecturers and graduate student instructors comprising the remainder.

UC Berkeley students make up 75 percent of summer scholars. The remaining 25 percent of summer students include visitors from other institutions and other adult learners. Internships this summer are in Madrid, Dublin, Singapore and the Bay Area.